By Julie Bolcer
Originally published on Advocate.com December 08 2012 4:24 PM ET
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev announced his opposition Friday to a pending national version of a “homosexual propaganda” law that has already been enacted in regions including St. Petersburg.
The leader of United Russia said during a TV interview that he believed the bill was unnecessary because “not all relations between people can be regulated by law,” according to Russia Today. He also said that his party, which holds the parliamentary majority, agreed with him.
Medvedev’s comments won praise from LGBT human rights advocates including Lady Gaga. The pop star tweeted, “Thank You Prime Minister Medvedev for not standing by your party's anti gay propaganda law & instead supporting my show+fans all over Russia.”
The bill, which is scheduled for its first hearing next week, targets the “promotion” of homosexuality to minors. Opponents of the legislation have criticized its potential chilling effect on free speech and health care needs.
“Laws that tell you who you can love -- and even what you can say about love -- don’t change who people are,” said Andre Banks, executive director and cofounder of AllOut.org. “If this bill passes, the law would force lesbian and gay Russians, and their friends and families, to live in even fear and isolation.”
Last month, a St. Petersburg court dismissed a $10.7 million lawsuit brought against Madonna by conservative groups who claimed she had violated the law at a concert. Gaga arrived in the city for a performance Saturday.